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A description of life in the village of Pruna, nestled in the Andalusian mountains of Seville

Village life in the Andalusian mountains

Halloween/All Saints Day,/All Souls Day/All Hallows day
25 October 2015 @ 14:30

The Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day falls on 1 November, followed by All Souls' Day on 2 November, and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. In Spain this essentially means that it is a day when the dead are honoured and their graves are cleaned, candles lit, and the graves are freshly adorned with flowers.

All Hallows eve (Halloween) is reputedly the only evening that the spirits of the dead can travel unhindered, and as such has been celebrated for years as a time of dressing up as ghosts, witches, and fairies and celebrating the oncoming of winter, bonfires, feasting, visiting neighbours. 

All Saints' Day in Mexico,is known as the Day of the Dead.

Portuguese children celebrate the Pão-por-Deus tradition (also called santorinho, bolinho or fiéis de Deus) going door-to-door, where they receive cakes, nuts, pomegranates, sweets and candies. This occurs all over Portugal. Spanish children traditionally called on local shop and cafes for candies and nuts.

A November festival of all the saints was already widely celebrated on 1 November in the days of Charlemagne. It was made a day of obligation throughout the empire in AD 835.

So halloween is not American, it is an ancient european tradition, Trick ot treating is a new aspect of it, and hopefully will become abused. So far in Pruna I have had no problems.

Blame it on ET, blame it on The Simpsons, but the news of the tricl or treat part of Halloween has reached the villages, and the kids are agog that they get sweets for no reason, and all they need is a bit of red lippy and a wig.

So manage their expectations, just as you see kids in mid October with a doll in a pram asking for 'penny for the guy' so the local kids, like all kids, will try it on.

In the days leading up to halloween just ignore any kids in any pretence of costume, smile benignly, and walk on. On the actual day you will find them camped outside your house, they know you are British, they know you 'believe' in Halloween, and they know they get sweets.

At which point look absolutely shocked and say 'mala suerte' (mala swertay) which means bad luck! this throws the little buggers off the scent. If your Spanish is good enough tell them 'mala suerte ante del anochecer' which means bad luck before nightfall, 

I even go so far as to tell them to be there at 8pm! This means at ten to eight (they could wait no longer) a troop of kids in actually rather good costumes knock on the door and stand proudly there, luckily I had a tin of Roses so was able to hand out cheap and shiny chocolates, they were well chuffed.

Later in the evening there were two more knocks, and children stood there in amazing costumes with proud parents behind them (my favourite kind of trick or treaters) and they were given sweeties too. At the end of the night we still had a third of a tin of Roses, so finished them off while watching Spanish TV, in English, with Spanish subtitles, the best way to spend an evening in front of the box.


Like 1


Debbie Alongia said:
27 September 2017 @ 19:41


I have loved reading your blog about life in Pruna. As Americans we are concerned about buying property in Spain.
You mentioned that there are now Americans in Pruna. Would you mind passing on my email address to them?


christineinseville said:
27 September 2017 @ 20:18

Of course Debbie, but you need to give me the e-mail address first :), if you are a member you can private message me, or if you post here I will forward it to my American neighbours, and delete the reply so that the e-mail address is not public x

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